The Festival of Trees has planted itself in a brand new location! The Oglebay Institute Stifel Center has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland with trees, wreaths and garlands, all decorated by creative volunteers. Items are for sale, with the trees delivered free of charge, compliments of sponsor Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration. The festival kicks off with a free opening reception from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, then from Nov. 16 through Dec. 1, the festival is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. (Closed Thanksgiving Day.) Admission is free. Donations accepted. Several special events will take place throughout the Festival of Trees, including:
Festival of Trees Wine Tasting, 7-9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17: Enjoy a scrumptious assortment of wine and food pairings and socialize with friends in a stunning holiday setting. Attendees will also have the opportunity to browse the Festival of Trees and shop the Holiday Art Show and Sale. $35. ($30 OI members.)
Festival of Trees “Dine & Shop” Business & Civic Clubs Luncheon, noon-1:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27: Kick off the holiday season, celebrate the spirit of giving and “shop small” with fellow business professionals and civic leaders at Oglebay Institute’s Holiday Art Show & Sale and Festival of Trees. Enjoy a buffet lunch in the historic Stifel Fine Arts Center among the beautifully decorated trees. $15. Advanced registration required.
Children’s Breakfast Among the Trees, 9-10:15 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Dec. 1. Meet Bigfoot at the Stifel Fine Arts Center. Delicious breakfast, special guests and themed crafts make the Children’s Breakfast Among the Trees an event to remember. $15. Free to children 3 and under. 304-242-4200; www.oionline.com
HOLIDAY ART SHOW AND SALE
After you’ve checked out the trees, etc., visitors to the Stifel Center can look for gifts at the Holiday Art Show and Sale, now through Dec. 29. The extraordinary holiday shopping event features hundreds of handcrafted items from dozens of artisans who set up shop in the Stifel Center for the holiday season. The Holiday Art Show and Sale also takes place at the Schrader Center at Oglebay Park. 304-242-4200; www.oionline.com
HERE COMES A PARADE
The Perkins Restaurant & Bakery Fantasy in Lights Parade lights up downtown Wheeling at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16. Don’t miss the dozens of floats, bands and of course, Santa Claus! And this year, there’s a special treat — balloons from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC!
MUSIC FROM THE IMPERIAL CITY
Music director finalist Andrés Franco will conduct A Night in Vienna at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at The Capitol Theatre. Violinist Alexi Kenney makes his Wheeling Symphony debut performing Brahms’ beloved Violin Concerto. A free Concert Talk is at 6:30 p.m., and following the performance, attendees area invited a free post-show reception. Earlier on concert day, there will be a WSO on the GO event, featuring a meet-and-greet with Franco and a performance from the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra string quintet. The event begins at noon at the Artworks Around Town area of Centre Market. 304-232-6191; wheelingsymphony.com
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GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER
Experience the thrill of a world-class ballet company performing The Great Russian Nutcracker, travel to the “Land of Peace and Harmony” and don’t miss the two-person “Dove of Peace” costume, at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at The Capitol Theatre. Area ballet students along with the professionals will dance this holiday favorite. www.capitoltheatrewheeling.com
HALLS ARE DECKED
Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park is lavishly decorated for the holidays and open to the public for tours through Dec. 31. Professional decorators and talented amateurs have decorated 13 period rooms, hallways and staircases in this year’s theme, “Holiday Magic.” 304-242-7272; www.oionline.com
Nothing goes with turkey and harvest fruits better than fruity white wines. Good Mansion Wines will offer their favorite whites at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, for the Thanksgiving Day table, including dry Alsatian Riesling, sweet Mosel Valley Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and white Burgundy, plus luscious sweet dessert wine for afterward. Wines will be served with triple creme and blue cheeses and French baguettes. $15, no reservations needed. www.goodmansionwines.com
CHRISTMAS IN NOVEMBER
More than 175 vendors are under one roof at the Christmas in November craft show, Friday, Nov. 16, through Sunday, Nov. 18, at WesBanco Arena. Get your holiday shopping started! Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 304-233-4470
GO LEFT OF CENTRE
Join the Left of Centre Improv Players for a night of improvisational comedy at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre. Under the direction of Towngate Theatre director Tim Thompson, the troupe includes veteran performers and talented newcomers. This show is intended for mature audiences; strong language is possible. $5. 304-242-7700; www.oionline.com
GET THE BLUES
World-renowned Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials will bring their Chicago blues back to Wheeling at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at BluesDays at Rivercity Restaurant. River City is located at 1400 Main St., Wheeling. $20. www.heritagemusicfest.com.